Every time I read portions of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in the Old Testament I am blown away by the laws, regulations, ceremonial requirements and sacrificial system that governed God’s people! Frankly I don’t know how well I would have done in keeping them all! Without a merciful, loving God and promises of forgiveness I’m pretty sure I would have failed! The Old Covenant was rigorous and demanding!
That’s why when I read the following words this morning from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament I rejoiced (and I admit it… I breathed a grateful sigh of relief)!
“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises! If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it… ‘The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah… This is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people… I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.’” (from Hebrews 8:6–13 NLT)
That is what I needed (and I’m pretty sure that it is what you need as well)… A “new covenant!” A covenant that transforms me! A covenant that gives me a desire to do what pleases God! A covenant by which God accepts me as his very own – His child! A covenant in which God obligates Himself to forgive my sin when I acknowledge them and ask for forgiveness! (1 John 1:8-9)
Every time I think about it, I’m blown away by what Jesus said at the last supper when He celebrated the Passover with his disciples… “He took the cup after supper saying, ‘this cup is the new covenant in my blood.’” Then he went to the cross and sealed it by dying there for my sin and yours! What a wonderful Savior!